[Bell Historians] Open handstrokes

Peter Trent peter.trent at DH3_NDQgyY3aDYOEvRYJmLTZnYkywtcGRe5bjdpfUuWchaY95SR1DPXRvCEY3NZVv-gkznoMdvotTVrcJ_ITH1I3c-w.yahoo.invalid
Mon Jun 21 21:59:40 BST 2010

I have played Jenkins' music quite extensively in the past and never felt that his melodies were in any way method based. Having played the "six bells, mourners and ringers" lyra consort set in particular,  I would have said that the extended penultimate note of the changes represented  is far more about trying to fit the melody into common triple time than representing an open handstroke lead. All but the opening rounds start on the first beat of the bar. Starting with an upbeat means that the treble is missed out on the first backstroke in order to make musical sense. After that "intro" all the other changes which start with a repeat of rounds (complete this time) begin on a downbeat. Backstokes consistently follow on, the penultimate note lasts for two beats and the tenor or final note of the row lasts for three beats to enable the next change to start on the first beat of the  bar again  For interest the changes depicted after rounds come in this sequence, in whole pulls as follows:


P J Trent

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Hayden Charles 
  To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Monday, June 21, 2010 6:09 PM
  Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Open handstrokes

  John Harrison wrote on 21/06/2010 16:35:
  > Does anyone know when ringing with an open hand stroke lead first developed
  > and why?
  > It is clearly described in the Clavis Campanalogia of 1788, but I can't
  > find any mention in Campanologia Improved of 1733.

  The composer John Jenkins (1592-1678)wrote several 'Bell' pieces.

  Three of them that I have come across have definite ringing motifs in 
  them: 'Lady Katherine Audley's Bells', 'The Six Bells', and 'The Five 
  Bells', which I think is fairly similar to 'Lady Katherine Audley's 
  Bells'. From what I have read about Jenkins there is no ready dated list 
  of his works. He died in 1678 and was rather frail in his last years.

  Each of these pieces has a movement called 'The Bells' which begins with 
  rounds on five or six and then has varying sequences of changes. The 
  rounds on five go 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4- 5 (rest)1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4- 5, with 
  each note played in a regular beat but with a longer note on 4 of the 
  'backstroke'. The music shows definite groups of ten beats with a space 

  I have not seen the musical notation for these pieces, but I would 
  suggest from the recordings I have heard that this might be evidence for 
  open handstrokes. I have no idea whether present-day performance might 
  be influenced by our current ringing conventions.

  Amazon UK has a track available for download, and it is possible to play 
  a sample (which does not start from the 'rounds') without buying the 
  track. I am not sure how well the link will work for those outside the 
  UK. It is the third movement, 'The Bells'. I am not promoting Amazon as 
  such, just pointing to a place to illustrate my meaning.


  (On Amazon.com the link is <http://tinyurl.com/25pkq9t>)

  This is just a tentative notion, not a full-blown theory. I think that 
  Morris in his 'History and Art' repeated a theory that Jenkins used 
  actual methods (Grandsire?) in his music, but I don't have a copy to 
  check. But I don't think Morris investigated these ideas for himself.

  Anyway, it might push 'evidence' for open handstrokes a bit earlier that 
  the books John mentioned.

  Hayden Charles

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